TIHA Hunter Equitation Class

TIHA are delighted to announce details of a new initiative to take place during The National Festival of Traditional Irish Breeding at Limerick Show on 22nd August 2015.
The aim of the TIHA Hunter Equitation class is to encourage a higher standard of production for the 5 year olds and upwards, traditionally bred horse, with a view to increasing their market value for the home and export markets.
Horses competing in this class should be quality animals, well mannered, athletic, careful and capable of jumping a course of fences to include working hunter /show jumping style ( max. height 1.15m) . They will be required to display smooth upward and downwards transitions to include lengthening and shortening at canter on the flat and over fences , landing on correct leads and at all times showing good balance, self carriage and rhythm.

Thanks to the support of the HSI Innovation Fund, a prize fund of €4,500 is on offer, broken down as follows:

1st. €1600 of which €1100 goes to the Owner & €450 goes to the Breeder

2nd. €1100 “     “       €800   “   “       “             €300 “     “     “

3RD. €700 “       “       €500   “     “     “              €200 “ “     “

4th. €500   “       “       €400   “   “     “             €100   “   “     “

5th. €350   “       “       €250   “   “       “           €100   “   “     “

6th. €250   “       “       €150   “   “       “           €100   “   “     “

Total = €4500


For further information, please contact:

Eamonn Gleeson on gleesoneamonn@yahoo.ie or 086 3908664.

Chris Ryan on scarteen@topmail.ie or 087 7682732

TIHA Newsletter – Winter 2014


January 2015


Dear Member,

2014 was a very busy year for the TIHA Council.

We are delighted to report that we have made huge progress in advancing the aims of the Association.

A considerable amount of time has been spent working behind the scenes, as well as in Public. This is largely due to the voluntary efforts of a great many people, particularly the tireless energy of your Chairman Hugh Leonard aided by your National Council, who have given their time and put their hands far into their own pockets on your behalf.   This work will only continue if you renew your subscription and play your own part to bringing in new members and sponsorship to support the activities of your Association. Renewal facilities are now available on-line.


  • Official Recognition of the TIH in the Irish Sport Horse Studbook.

Although still a work in progress over the details, an impressive turnout at the IHB AGM passed motions to establish that:

ALL foals registered as ISH which also meet the Traditional criteria, will be automatically registered as such.

Traditionally-bred horses will be managed and developed as a specific sub-section of the ISH register. HSI will continue to work back through the data-base of the register to identify live horses and their ancestors, particularly females.

As well as on the Passports, identification as being in the TIH sub-group will be added to the ISH breed designation on all HSI publications, publicity, including electronic media (such as Capalloir).

  • TIHA Think-Tank in Kilkenny Jan 2014.

A great cross section of breeders, producers and people generally involved in the industry were invited to attend a meeting to discuss topics such as breeding, production, marketing, promotion, problems facing traditionally bred animals and possible solutions to the afore mentioned. The results of this ‘Think Tank’ provided the basis for the TIHA submission to the strategic planning board.

  • TIHA’s contribution to National Strategic Plan (“Reaching New Heights”)

The Council spent many long nights preparing a substantial and wide-ranging submission as befits the role of the TIH in the Irish Sport Horse Industry. This document was submitted to the strategic planning board on your behalf.  You will be aware from the press that an edition of the Plan was submitted to Minister Coveney shortly before Christmas.

The Council is pleased that many of our suggestions appeared to be reflected in the presentation made at Teagasc, Grange, before the plan went to the Minister.   The good news is that TIH has been given official recognition in the Plan. The bad news is that there would appear to be a potentially divisive and retrograde interpretation of the PURPOSE and Market for the TIH as set down in the plan’s breeding goals. Of course the Plan is not officially published as yet, so hopefully there is time to correct a couple of potential controversies.   This is sure to be a hot topic at the AGM .

  • The TIHA National Locator

We continued to host a web site and face book site – providing a platform for the promotion of traditional Irish breeding and celebrating the successes of those performing on TIH.

The development this year was to established the ‘ TIH National Locator ‘ with a view to compiling a data base of breeders & producers of traditionally bred animals. Enclosed please find a consent form for you to complete and return giving us your permission to put up your details on our web site advertising your yard as a place to source traditionally bred animals in Ireland. The idea of the ‘locator’ is that it is a point of contact for buyers who wish to source traditionally bred animals in Ireland. Go to the TIHA website and click on DIRECTORY on the headline title bar or follow: http://www.traditionalirishhorse.com/directory/

  • Promoting Traditional Breeding:

Mighty work continued throughout 2015:

  • Four members of the council travelled to Peterborough Hound Show in July 2014 for a very successful marketing and promotional trip, where TIHA had a stand. We were delighted and enthused by the level of interest and demand for traditionally bred animals in the UK.
  • Organised two displays at the RDS to promote, demonstrate and explain the importance and value of the traditionally bred horse.
  • Secured a slot for traditionally bred foals at Cavan Sales, pre-selected by TIHA selectors .
  • A Traditional Mare and Foal Championship was organized by the Connacht Branch with a 1000 euro prize fund. Our thanks to the Louisburgh Show Committee for hosting this very well supported event.
  • Awarded presentations to the breeder of ‘Bay My Hero’ Bryan Mc Guire and buyer/producer Katie Jerram at the RDS
  • Constant presence in the media, papers etc. throughout the year. Thanks to our Media friends.


  • Festival of Traditional Irish Breeding at Limerick Show

2014 introduced several new classes for young horses, performance classes and a stallion parade – all of which were very well supported and appreciated by breeders and owners.

  • T.I.H.A. “Show and Go”

This promotion and market of traditionally bred animals, goes from strength to strength.

  • In 2014, Two selection centres were used - Barnadown Equestrian Centre and Scarteen.
  • In excess of 90 animals presented leading to selection of 45 High Quality traditionally-bred hunters. These performed over typical cross country fences where they were viewed with ease by big crowd of potential buyers: A massive credit to the work put in by the organising team.
  • Thanks to H.S.I. who supported this venture by allowing the buyers to avail of the inward buyers programme, accommodation was sourced locally for our foreign guests.
  • As a result of this event , very valuable contacts have been established with foreign buyers in particular. (Hence the need for the locator!)
  • Many new members joined on the day, especially from overseas, who recognise and support the need for our Association
  • Stallion Nomination Auction:

  • Connacht Chairman Kevin Noone  organised a very successful auction of Stallion nominations in 2014. This raised substantial and much needed funds for the association. Many thanks to Stallion Owners who supported this venture and got great publicity for Traditional Sires in the process.
  • Kevin’s 2015 version is out of the start gate  NB Closing BIDS by end of FEBRUARY 2015.
  • See our website for details
  • SJI Gifted Points

  • We are very pleased that, following very strong representations from the TIHA, the SJI has agreed to stop the practice of gifting points to imported show jumpers unless they have the necessary paper trail of proven performance. Reported abuses of the system were causing potentially unfair competition for a number of breeder members. Your National Council will be keeping a close watch on how this is implemented. Our thanks to Seamus Healy for alerting us to this situation.
  • Summary:

No doubt you are aware that all work carried out in TIHA is done so on a voluntary basis. We need more specialists: PLEASE, If you have any spare time and expertise in areas such as social media, marketing etc., a small amount of expert help will do great things to hit the goals for the year ahead. We would greatly welcome your support.


It is vital that we continue to grow our membership – from a financial point of view but also with a view to establishing a strong and influential association. We strongly appeal to you not only renew your own membership but to try and encourage new members to join.


Membership Renewal facilities are now available on-line.

Alternatively, €25 membership can be posted to:

Mr. Jim Cooke, Treasurer,



Co. Mayo.

(Please include your details for the ‘Locator’, if you wish to avail of this facility)



If you wish to make any suggestions / proposals to the TIHA National Council, please feel free to do so, as we value your ideas and opinions.







We look forward to meeting you there. May I take this opportunity to wish you good health & happiness for 2015 and to thank you for your continued support.


Joan Bateman

Secretary T.I.H.A.


TIHA Stallion Auction 2015

Details regarding the Stallion Auction are available here. The Traditional Irish Horse Association would like to thank the Stallion Owners for their generosity.


New 'traditional Irish' sub-group on cards for studbook

Two motions ratified at the Irish Horse Board AGM this week could pave the way for a new sub-group for traditional Irish horses in the Irish Sport Horse studbook

THE Irish Horse Board ratified two motions which could see traditional Irish horses assigned to their own sub-group within the Irish Sport Horse studbook.

In what has been described as a watershed moment for traditional Irish breeding and the Irish sport horse industry, members of the Irish Horse Board co-operative ratified the motions which were put forward by the Traditional Irish Horse Association.

The first motion put forward at the annual general meeting on Wednesday night was that “the Irish Horse Register clearly identifies as a matter of record, those animals within the register which conform to the definition of traditional Irish pedigree, taking such steps as may be required to ensure that such animals at every opportunity are recorded and developed as a specific genetic entity.”

The second motion was “That effect be given to Motion 1 by establishing a formal section for traditionally-bred animals within the Irish Horse Register.”

The motions essentially mean that traditionally-bred animals that are either a purebred or a mix of Connemara, thoroughbred and Irish Draught with three generations of pedigree recorded would be categorised within their own sub-group of the Irish Sport Horse studbook.

The move would put the onus on Horse Sport Ireland to identify all foals and older animals as traditionally-bred or not, based on their pedigree at the time of registration. It would also remove the option for owners to decide whether their animals should be registered as traditional or not.

Speaking at the Irish Horse Board AGM, John Watson of the Traditional Irish Horse Association said that when the Irish Sport Horse studbook became a register of geographical birth, it made no attempt to preserve and distiguish the genetic identity of the traditional Irish-bred horse.

“This lack of distinction has endangered and even squandered a priceless Irish national heritage,” he maintained.

However he insisted that the aim was not to split the studbook.

“This is not an attempt to breakaway from the studbook,” he continued. “We understand fully that the ranking of the ISH requires the combined contribution of both the traditional and the modern Irish sport horse and that neither type would presently achieve the same pre-eminence individually; let alone in competition with each other.

“A separate section or sub-group within the Irish Sport Horse register will help us to quantify and ringfence the current population of traditional Irish horses and promote it,” he continued.

A third motion, which read: “That a management body be constituted to preserve and develop as a genetic entity those animals meeting the criteria of traditionally Irish-bred. The members of this body shall be constitutionally elected only by such current ISH members and/or shareholders as meet the additional criteria required and defined to be categorised within the traditional Irish sub-group” was withdrawn to enable further discussion and give additional clarity.

However Chris Ryan of the Traditional Irish Horse Association said the aim of this third motion was to ensure that the traditional Irish sub-group of the studbook would only be judged, assessed and managed people actively involved in traditional breeding.

Originally published in The Irish Field, 22/11/14

TIHA Hunter Show and Go – Irish Field Report

Well-produced hunting horses with bone, substance and manners were in strong demand at the Traditional Irish Horse Association Hunter Show & Go Sale

Caitriona Murphy

MORE than 200 people travelled to Scarteen in Co Limerick on Tuesday for the second ever Traditional Irish Horse Association Hunter Show & Go sale, where well-produced hunters met strong demand.

With 42 horses catalogued, some 25 horses were sold on the day and further sales are expected to be concluded in the coming weeks and days.

Although all sales conducted were private deals, it is understood that the top price secured on the day was €10,000, while the average was close to €7,000.

Athlone dealer Jim Derwin supported the inaugural sale in 2013 and returned again on Tuesday to buy no less than 11 of the horses on offer.

“I bought 11 altogether and I paid from €5,000 to €7,000 for my horses,” he told The Irish Field. “I bought four horses at the sale last year but I have to say I haven’t seen as good a bunch of horses together in a long time as I saw there [in Scarteen].

“Last year I thought some of the horses had too much blood to them, a lot of them were three-quarter bred but this year I thought the selection was better, they were real proper Irish hunting horses that people are looking for. They were very, very nice horses.”

The Westmeath man, who was also active at Cavan sales this week, added that he did not have any particular clients in mind for the horses he bought but it is unlikely they will remain in his yard for too long, as he reports a good trade for well-produced good-looking hunters in England, Germnay and Holland.

“I sold 13 horses to Holland for hunting lately and seven more went to Belgium the week I went to Lanaken with my jumping horse,” he said. “Customers like that type of horse I bought - big greys that have been well hunted, horses with good bone and big fronts to carry big men. They need to be looking really well and do their job.”

Derwin’s purchases were lots 7, 10, 15, 16, 18, 23, 27, 29, 30 and 42 in the catalogue, which is available to view on the TIHA website.

Agent Clare Ryan also brokered a deal for British clients Duncan Stoddart and Caroline Boyden, who were very happy with their new mount, the 17.1hh brown gelding Mr Riordan. Consigned by Elizabeth Ahern, the five-year-old Heigh Ho Dubh gelding is now destined for a career hunting with the Cattistock and Blackmore Vale in England.

“He was beautifully ridden by Ann Leonard and was very well-mannered. In fact, he was one of the only horses who stood to both open and close the gate,” remarked Ryan. “My clients were sold on the ride when they tried him.”

The pair, who had earlier tried a Grange Bouncer gelding, returned to England on Wednesday but not before they bought the first horse too.

Eamon Gleeson of the Traditional Irish Horse Association recorded sales to buyers from England, Holland and Germany on the day, while another sale is pending to America and several horses were bought by Irish buyers and two horses are to remain in Scarteen country.

“Trade was strong and sellers really upped their game since last year in the way that the horses were produced,” he maintained. “A good model with hunting mileage and well schooled on the flat will sell very well.”

Video footage of all horses who jumped the Hunter Show & Go course which consisted of wire, banks, logs, hedges and rails, is now available online (www.tiha.ie) and more sales are set to be concluded in the coming weeks.

Plans are already underway, meanwhile, to expand the selection process for the 2015 sale to possibly include selection dates in the midlands and potentially to include a smaller, working hunter or ladies’ hunter section to the sale.


TIHA Hunter Show and Go – Applications Open

Applications have now opened for the 2014 TIHA Hunter Show and Go which will take place at Scarteen House, Knocklong, Co. Limerick on Tuesday 7th October.

Selection days will take place in Barnadown, Co. Wexford on 19th September and Scarteen, Co. Limerick on 25th September. Find more information and apply online on the TIHA Website.


TIHA Hunter Show and Go 2014 – Promotional Video

Chris Ryan introduces the 2014 TIHA Hunter Show and Go. Following it's successful introduction last year, the exhibition of traditionally bred Irish hunting horses returns to Scarteen House, Co. Limerick on Tuesday 7th October. Call into the TIHA Trade Stand during the Peterborough Festival of Hunting to find out more!

From the Archives . . . Burghley 1966

tommy brennan-2
Burghley Sept 1966…the inaugural World Championships
From the left…Irish Gold medal Team
Eddie Boylan - Durlas Eile - 3/4 TB
Virginia Freeman Jackson - Sam Weller - TB
Penny Morton - Loughlin - 3/4 TB
Tommy Brennan - Kilkenny - 3/4 TB
All the horses were by a TB and all horses show jumped at Grade A.
Durlas Eile won international competitions at all 3 disciplines (won Championship in Dublin with Army Equitation School and Prix St George at the White City in London with Eddie.)
Eddie Boylan went on to win both the European Individual Gold and Badminton with Durlas Eile.
Kilkenny, by Water Serpent, was one of the top horses of all time.
Completed three Olympics with Tommy Brennan and Jimmy Wofford,
placing 4th individually with Tommy Brennan in Tokyo 1964 when he was just a 6yo,
 and winning two team silvers with Jimmy in Mexico 1968 and Munich 1972 and individual bronze in the World Champs at Punchestown in 1970, and individual Gold in the Pan American Games.

Bay My Hero

TIHA are delighted to congratulate Bryan Maguire, breeder of Bay My Hero, the winner of the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** 2014!

See Bryan interviewed on IrishHorse.tv here.

Interview with Simon Coveney – The Irish Field


Extract from The Irish Field, Saturday 19th April 2014